Because intelligence can be defined as the ability to adapt; to take whatever situation you’re in and turn it around to your advantage, rich people should be smarter than poor people. I came up with the theory that in America, for every ten fold increase in money, average IQ jumps about 10 points (give or take). So:
Homeless people: Average IQ 76
Four figure income earners: Average IQ 86
Five figure income earners: Average IQ 96
Self-made millionaires: Average IQ 106
Self-made decamillionaires: Average IQ 116
Self-made centimillionaires: Average IQ 126
Self-made billionares: Average IQ 136
Self-made decabillionaires: Average IQ 146
Now Donald Trump claims to be worth $10 billion, but as a master of self-promotion, that figure might be wildly exaggerated. Authoritative Forbes magazine (the gold standard for wealth valuation), recently put his net worth at $4 billion. However New York Times journalist Timothy O’Brien claimed in 2005 that Trump’s net worth is a measly $200 million, though Trump sued O’Brien for claiming this.
I’m going to go with Forbes magazine and assume Trump is worth $4 billion. This might suggest an IQ around 136. However Trump inherited a huge chunk of his fortune and brand from his father, who was a 20th century centimillionaire (equivalent to a billionaire today). So perhaps it was Trump’s father who might have been around 136 IQ. Since the father-son IQ correlation is 0.45, Trump’s IQ might only be 45% as far above the U.S. mean of 96 as his dad was, giving him an expected IQ of:
0.45(136 – 96) + 96 = 114
However Trump multiplied his inheritance many times over, so his IQ is likely higher than an inheritance billionaire (IQ 114), but lower than a self-made billionaire (IQ 136). I’m guessing his IQ is around 125, which is higher than 95% of White America, but even that isn’t always enough.
Trump recently got severely criticised for minimizing John McCain’s war hero status, which was a colossally stupid mistake for someone running as a Republican. Trump has been surging in the polls because he was willing to insult anyone, but I suspect he miscalculated in this case, and it will hurt him, and it’s a mistake I don’t think he would have made had his IQ been 10 points higher. IQ is much like money. No matter how much you have, you never get to a point where you don’t need more.
As the great J.P. Rushton once explained to me, all of us have successes, all of us make mistakes, but high IQ people tend to get further ahead in life, partly because they make fewer mistakes.
Meanwhile here’s rare footage of Trump contemplating the presidency way back in the 1980s on Oprah: